The Flashlight That Fries Eggs

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

The Flashlight That Fries Eggs

June 1, 2017

When you need to see in the dark, even a tiny flashlight can help. But if that’s not exciting enough for you, you can use a really, REALLY bright one…and the brighter the flashlight, the hotter it gets. The Torch, a flashlight made by Wicked Lasers, is so hot that it can set paper on fire just by shining on it. It can toast marshmallows and even fry eggs! The flashlight shines at 4100 “lumens,” which measure brightness; to compare, you can read in the dark with a flashlight at just 20 lumens. The only problem is that the Torch drains its batteries in just 15 minutes. So whether you’re fumbling in the dark or just cooking breakfast, you’d better do it fast.

Wee ones: Turn on a light and make a shadow of your hand on the wall. Now count your finger shadows!

Little kids: If your Torch flashlight can fry your eggs for just 8 more seconds, what numbers do you say to count down from 8?  Bonus: If you bought a dozen eggs and you’ve fried 5 of them, how many eggs do you have left to fry? Count down if it helps! (Reminder if needed: A dozen equals 12.)

Big kids: If eggs fry at 130 degrees, and your Torch has heated them to 108 degrees so far, how much hotter do they need to get?  Bonus: If you can roast 3 marshmallows at a time on a skewer, how many full skewers can you roast from a bag of 40?

The sky’s the limit: If your Torch can roast 3 marshmallows in 5 minutes, or else fry 2 eggs in 4 minutes, what’s the greatest number of items you can cook completely with 2 15-minute Torches if you have to cook at least 2 eggs?

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: Count your 5 finger shadows: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Little kids: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  Bonus: 7 more eggs.

Big kids: 22 degrees hotter.  Bonus: 13 skewers of marshmallows, with 1 left over.

The sky’s the limit: Once you cook the 1st round of eggs, you’ve used up 4 of your 30 minutes. Then, because each egg uses 2 minutes while marshmallows take less than 2 minutes each, you want to cook as few eggs as possible. The best combo is to cook only marshmallows after that first pair of eggs. You’ll fit 5 rounds of marshmallows (15 in 25 minutes) plus the 2 eggs, for 17 items total. You’ll lose 1 unused minute, but cook more food.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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